Summer Veggie Quinoa

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Everything is coming up in the garden this week! Tomatoes, peppers, all the fresh herbs. This zesty summer salad makes great use of all your garden veggies or what you picked up from the local farmer’s market. It is also low in fat and loaded with protein and vitamins.

Ingredients

3 cups flavored vegetable broth ( I like College Inn culinary broth in Thai Coconut Curry)

1 1/2 cups uncooked tricolor quinoa

1/2 cup coarsley chopped and seeded tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley

1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup cucumber, finely diced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

Combine broth and quinoa in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork, then set aside. In large bowl, mix together all other ingredients. Add quinoa and mix well. Refrigerate until chilled or serve at room temperature, if you prefer. This makes 8 large servings – with leftovers!

Southwest Avocado Cilantro Chop Chop Salad

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Happy Spring! I have been absent for a month and I know that is not a good thing for a blogger to do. I recently got promoted at work (yay!) but I am still doing my old job for a while too (insert descriptive and colorful adjective here) so I have been twice as busy at work.  I have still been thinking about food – trying new foods, new recipes and testing my favorites. This is an awesome spring salad recipe – crunchy, filling and packed with B vitamins and protein. It is so easy to make it will be your go to spring salad!

First – Chop Chop:

4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup corn, thawed frozen or fresh
1 cup jicama, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (optional)

Next – Dressing:

1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 avocado
3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped plus

1/4 cup loosely packed italian parsley, coarsley chopped
1 8 ounce container plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic (I also like Christopher Ranch chopped garlic, sold in jars in the produce section of the store)
1 1/2 teaspoons wine vinegar (either red or white)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Place all salad ingredients in large bowl. Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Toss salad with dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately on chilled salad plates.